Myriad Issues: Patentability of Isolated DNA

Courtesy of Wikimedia CommonsIn March 2010, a U.S. district court’s ruling that isolated DNA and inventions that use isolated DNA are not eligible for patent protection sent shockwaves through the biotech and life sciences sector in Canada and the US. Association for Molecular Pathology v USPTO, 09 Civ. 4515 (Link courtesy of Genomics Law Report) resulted from a lawsuit against Myriad Genetics, a company that patented the BRAC1 and BRAC2 genes, genes associated with increased risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.  The court overturned the patents on the basis that inventions that use isolated DNA are not markedly different from “products of nature”.  The decision is currently under appeal to the US Federal Circuit and a decision is expected in 2011. 

BioBusiness Magazine has interviewed Richard Stobbe on this topic in its current issue: The Myriad Decision: What does the patent dispute mean to Canadian biotech? 

Calgary – 07:00 MST

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